4 Pro-Level DSLRs That Still Outperform Mirrorless
It's been an exciting time for fans of mirrorless cameras. With new mirrorless announcements seemingly every couple of weeks, it's no doubt that many people are considering ditching their DSLRs. We suggest you reconsider.
Admittedly, my own camera of choice for the past 5 or 6 years has been a mirrorless body. However, after coming back to the larger cameras to do some research, I found that DSLRs still have a lot to offer—in some cases even surpassing the performance of many mirrorless bodies.
Sure, in most cases you'll find that DSLR cameras are larger and bulkier. What you may not realize is that some extra bulk allows for much better ergonomics. Wrapping your fingers around a DSLR grip just makes sense if you've got medium-to-large-size mitts, especially when compared to the three-finger claw grip used for many compact mirrorless cameras. That bit of extra weight can add a lot of stability when shooting handheld as well.
I've actually noticed that when using some compact mirrorless cameras, I have the same reaction as when I use a micro-sd card. Sometimes they feel too small. These DSLR bodies feel like durable, solid workhorses instead of something that may slip out of your hands and shatter.
I've got one last piece for you to consider before we talk about the cameras. Each of these bodies has a rich history of professional-grade lenses behind it. Granted, you'll probably be able to adapt these lenses to mirrorless cameras, but there's something special about the synergy of using a lens that's been specifically designed for a certain camera body. You won't lose functionality by using a third-party adapter when you use these lenses on their intended bodies. That's without mentioning that every one of those DSLR lenses will keep performing as well as they do today, only growing more affordable as time goes on.
With a 46-megapixel sensor and virtually no risk of moire patterns in your image, you'll be hard-pressed to find a situation where the D850 will disappoint. This camera also offers a base ISO level of 64, where nearly every other digital camera, mirrorless or DSLR bottoms out at 100. A lower base ISO means you'll have less digital noise in your images and more flexibility when shooting. The D850 is also the first DSLR camera to feature a full-frame backside-illuminated sensor and the first to hit a 100-point score from DXOMark.
Some may call this APS-C body a halfway point between the 77D and the 7D Mark II. Others say it's essentially a DSLR version of the M6 Mark II. However you decide to compare it to other cameras, you'd better remember to point out the 32-megapixel CMOS sensor. Oh, and don't forget the 4K video capture, live view autofocus that works well enough for sports shooting, access to the entire Canon L lens lineup and those great ergonomics. Good luck getting all that out of a mirrorless camera at such an affordable price point.
The 90D also sells bundled with an 18-135mm lens, making it a great all-purpose kit.
Also available with dual CF card slots, the Nikon D5 has been much-loved and revered by pros working in nature photography and sports. With a dynamic range that matches and high-ISO performance that overtakes that of Sony's mirrorless A9 camera, this dual-card-slot workhorse shoots 14 frames per second continuously without slowing down. Battery life crushes that of the A9's. Even with a slightly larger rear LCD screen, the D5 can manage to catch 3,780 shots per charge against the A9's 650 shots. The D5's dual-grip magnesium-alloy body is also an ergonomic dream to hold, with superb weather-resistance.
Some of this will always come down to personal preference, of course. When it comes to professional photography in the field, it's hard to disagree with Nikon's flagship DSLR line. While Nikon's 2020 successor, the D6 is out there kicking butt and taking names, we'd like to point out you can pick up a used D5 for significantly cheaper than the price of a new D6.
If I said 50-megapixel full-frame sensor, you'd probably assume I was talking about another company's mirrorless searing-edge resolution camera. Truth be told, the 5DS R beats the Sony A7R III in stills resolution. Of course, megapixels aren't everything.
It's also more affordable than the A7R III, once again gives you access to Canon's fantastic L lenses and gives you an optical viewfinder instead of an electronic one.